Here’s something I’ve learned this week—that you can’t underestimate the power of someone else’s influence in our children’s lives. As close as I am to my kids, there are just some things I cannot provide for them that others can. It’s a difficult truth—but reality nonetheless.
I got to experience this on both sides. Last week was my church’s annual “Music & Drama Camp.” I taught a creative writing class and helped with a drama skit. Although I enjoyed these parts of the camp, my most favorite was when we had impact groups.
For about 20 to 25 minutes you took the group of kids you had been assigned and dispersed throughout the church building to go over a mini Bible lesson, based on the theme of the camp. I had the privilege of doing this with high school girls.
From the first day we met, they were incredibly open. Although we didn’t always stay on topic, we covered some pretty deep and important issues—everything from human trafficking and praying for your future husband, to hypocrisy in the church and living out God’s call on your life.
One of the days we had to say something positive we had noticed about the person on our right. When it came to one of the girls saying something about me, I had to hold back the tears. She mentioned how easy it is to talk with me, how they can tell me anything and that I was like a second mom to so many of them.
God allowed me the opportunity and privilege to influence their lives. Yet they were just as much a blessing to me!
Then on the other side, my daughter who had no interest in participating in the camp was given the chance to help out in one of the classes, “Theatre Makeup.” She immediately connected with the woman in charge. And now she has found her place of ministry in the church, as she was asked to start helping out at our illustrated sermons and musicals where makeup is required on cast members.
Later she told me about how the woman who had run the class gave her a big hug when she came in and expressed how much she enjoyed having her help. I couldn’t get my daughter to join any type of ministry at church…yet the influence of one woman changed all of that.
In the past I have been resistant to others being an influence in my children’s lives. Not necessarily because I feared it was negative—I guess I was just afraid they would do a better job or my kids would like them more. You know how those crazy thoughts can get inside your head.
Sometimes it’s pride that causes us to believe that no one else can direct our children better than we can. Or it could be that we are so controlling over their lives, it’s hard to let go.
If there is ever an opportunity for someone else to be a positive influence over your child’s life, don’t try to squash it. And don’t view it in a negative light or take it personally. Be grateful. You just never know how God might end up using that person to impact your child’s life in a way that would have otherwise not been possible.
© 2012, Stephanie Romero